Let's not make the same mistake again.
--Unisys 1995 (http://web.archive.org/web/19981203000955/http://lpf.ai.mit....)
Unisys has frequently been asked whether a Unisys license is required in order to use LZW software obtained by downloading from the Internet or from other sources. The answer is simple. In all cases, a written license agreement or statement signed by an authorized Unisys representative is required from Unisys for all use, sale or distribution of any software (including so-called "freeware") and/or hardware providing LZW conversion capability (for example, downloaded software used for creating/displaying GIF images).
--Unisys 1999 (http://web.archive.org/web/20021203075728/http://www.unisys....)
I guess they designate lawyers using 'squad/platoon/battalion' instead of boring old 'department' ;-)
There's no way they have a valid patent on vanilla HTTP! I could see some of their patents covering some stuff like generating a seek table, but how the hell could they enjoin you from sending a blob in response to an HTTP request?
Isn't it possible for a video site to never directly enter a contract with MPEG-LA? Is the shrinkwrap EULA on second-party encoder software valid?
They're obviously enforceable on the organizations that entered into those licensing agreements directly, but what if I bought an licensed encoder off the shelf?
Is the on-disk format itself somehow patented, such that the files themselves are patented articles? Wouldn't that fail the machine-or-transformation test rather egregiously?
But walking into Fry's and buying a codec product off the shelf for $49.95 doesn't automatically allow you to start a video megasite.
It will be interesting to see if Google pulls it out as an alternative to H.264.